Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath
|Diocese of Meath
Deoise na Mí
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
|Territory||Most of counties Meath, Westmeath part of Offaly along with part of counties Longford, Louth, Dublin and Cavan.|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Armagh|
|Area||1,809 sq mi (4,690 km2)|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar|
|Patron saint||St Finnian|
|Bishop||The Most Reverend Dr. Michael Smith,
Bishop of Meath
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Cardinal Seán Brady,
Archbishop of Armagh
The Diocese of Meath, shown in dark blue,
within the Province of Armagh.
The Diocese of Meath (Irish: Deoise na Mí) is a Roman Catholic diocese in eastern Ireland. It is one of eight suffragan dioceses which are subject to the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Armagh. The incumbent ordinary is the Most Reverend Michael Smith, who succeeded to the title on 16 May 1990.
Although there had been abbot-bishops at Clonard Abbey since the sixth century, the diocese of Clonard proper was not formally established until 1111. It was one of the twenty-four dioceses established by the Synod of Rathbreasail. The diocese covered roughly the western part of the Kingdom of Meath with the bishop's seat located at Clonard Abbey.
Lordship of Ireland
During the twelfth century the bishops of Clonard acquired most of Meath as their territory, and frequently used the title "bishop of Meath" or "bishop of the men of Meath". After Bishop Simon Rochfort transferred his seat from Clonard to Trim in 1202, the normal style became the "Bishop of Meath". From 1778 until the late 19th century it had its seat in Navan, County Meath.
19th and 20th centuries
Charles Stewart Parnell's relationship with Mrs Katharine O'Shea led to the Bishop of Meath having a letter read at masses in the diocese in condemnation of the relationship. As Parnell was popular, this caused a backlash which eventually led to the cathedra removing to Mullingar, County Westmeath permanently. The diocesan School, St. Finian's College also moved to Mullingar from Navan. The incumbent Bishop is Dr. Michael Smith.
- John Cantwell (1830–1866)
- Thomas McNulty (1866–1898)
- Matthew Gaffney (1899–1906)
- Laurence Gaughran (1906–1928)
- Thomas Mulvany (1929–1943)
- John Francis D'Alton (1943–1946)
- John Anthony Kyne (1947–1966)
- John McCormack (1968–1990)
- Michael Smith (1990–present)
- The Diocese of Meath - a publication on the history of the diocese
- Diocese of Meath and Kildare (Church of Ireland)
- Official website for the diocese
- Diocese of Meath (GCatholic.org)
- Catholic-Hierarchy.org - Diocese Profile
- "Meath". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.